tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC April 7, 2012 12:00pm-2:00pm EDT
presidential race? a tim tebow sermon. fight jet crash. new details on that. and a historic boat race with a surprise ending. all those stories this hour. but first -- we start with the trayvon martin case. new word from the foreiattorney george zimmerman. any day now, the special prosecutor could decide whether to bring charges against zimmerman. today zimmerman's attorney says he worries about public opinion possibly influencing the wheels of justice. >> that's a troubling thing because in the court of public opinion, it appears that he's just ready for sentencing. and it's going to be a hard road. that's why we're here today, to get people to stop and see the marches and so on and stop screaming for justice and let the court system work, get all the information and all the facts and let's see what happened then. >> the very latest, let's go to
nbc's kerry sanders in sanford, florida, for us. kerry, it doesn't seem to be going away. this is further just percolating. where's the end point here? >> reporter: that is a good question. there are a lot of people who are wondering when the special prosecutor will have a decision on this. she has options. she can go to a grand jury if she chooses to present the evidence. or she can just make the decision on her own. the grand jury is next in session on tuesday. but thus far, it's been more than 40 days since this incident happened. and it's turned into a waiting game. 28-year-old george zimmerman remains in hiding, fearful for his safety, says his lawyer, as all sides wait on word if george zimmerman will or will not be charged in the shooting death of trayvon martin. zimmerman's defense attorney, hal urig. >> we are not free to discussion information at this point. >> reporter: would you become a
defense attorney based on the information you have? >> right now, we're defending a reputation. that's up to somebody other than us. >> reporter: those who believe zimmerman racially profiled trayvon martin before the shooting say they'll keep the pressure on. >> america's asking, when are they going to arrest mr. zimmerman, this armed vigilante, for killing this unarmed teenaged kid who had a bag of skittles trying to going home. >> reporter: marching this weekend, the mostly college-aged student crowd demanding the neighborhood watch volunteer face charges for pulling the trigger. >> we are fighting for our justice system to be re-evaluated so that we can prevent future trayvon martin cases. he's not here. he doesn't have a voice. >> reporter: all are now waiting, including police, who have been told to be on a heightened alert in case of a violent reaction to the special prosecutor's decision. norton bonaparte has been the
city manager for only six months. >> we want the public to have faith this has thoroughly been investigated. >> reporter: the interesting thing here with the george zimmerman representation is his two lawyers, one new one and one who's been on the case for a while have not met with their client. he is so fearful for his safety that the only way he's been able to talk to his lawyers is over the phone. alex? >> that is an extraordinary thing. do they know where he is? there was so much speculation that he may have fled the country for a while. >> reporter: they say that they have not really wanted to know exactly where he is because they don't want to have anything slip out. but they have been in constant contact with him. and the reason that he fears for his safety is, among other things, a group called the new black panthers group that have acally put what they call a bounty on his head of more than $10,000. >> kerry sanders, many thanks for that live report. see you again next hour. new details this hour on
what the u.s. navy says was a catastrophic mechanical malfunction of a jet that crashed into apartments in virginia. that f/a-18 hit the apartment complex. the pilots ejected safely. all residents are accounted for. thanh truong is in virginia beach for us. that is the good news. three people they said were missing, we now know they're okay. >> reporter: that's right. and we're expecting a briefing from the navy sometime this afternoon. we're hoping to learn more new details about what actually led up to the crash and what actually caused the crash. an official cause probably won't be coming until a few more weeks here. on the ground here, as you'd mentioned, the firefighters have finished their search. they basically said that as of this point everybody that's in the impact zone living in and around that area are safe and sound and accounted for. and on the eve of easter, many of these people living around here say it's nothing short of a
miracle that no one was killed in this disaster. many of them watched in horror oz the f/a-18 was coming down, dumping fuel in the courtyard at the apartment complex. that area is basically a senior living complex. you can imagine a lot of people were in their homes, in their apartments when this happened. we spoke with one man whose 86-year-old mother was inside her apartment when this happened. she heard the bang and the crash. and then all of a sudden, strangers ran inside, pulled her out right before that apartment complex went up in flames. so at this time, we're hearing a lot of stories of heroics and a lot of people are saying this is nothing short of a miracle, that god actually had something to do with this. and it's apropos with easter being tomorrow. >> incredible the damage wasn't worse. thank you, thanh. new today, mitt romney reaching out to conservatives for support.
politico's reporting the former massachusetts governor met with ten prominent republican leaders in washington, d.c. for a little more than an hour. meanwhile, nbc news confirms rick santorum met with rick perry in austin on tuesday. santorum requested that meeting. perry dropped out of the race in january and then backed newt gingrich. with santorum banking his campaign on the gop pennsylvania primary on april 24th, the romney camp is stepping up the pressure by ramping up advertising in the state. $1.8 million worth so far. recent polls show romney with a slight lead there in pennsylvania. joining me now, deputy national political editor for "the washington post," ann kornblut and erin mcpike. you see the santorum camp insisted he has no plans of dropping out. you have mitt romney with this commanding lead in the delegate count. if santorum loses pennsylvania,
his home state, it's going to be really embarrassing but how tough a decision is it for him to drop out now instead of waiting? this is, of course, the presumption that he does lose. >> well, it's got to be a tough call for him. obviously the last time he ran a race in pennsylvania, he lost by 18 points. what he's been able to do in this presidential campaign is quite a remarkable thing. he's had an amazing turnaround. he's been the alternative to mitt romney so far. he's done really quite well to rehabilitate his political career. the question facing him is whether he, in a sense, quits while he's ahead. or whether he goes through and potentially risks losing his home state a second time. obviously the romney camp is looking at this and seeing this as the way to put the final nail into this nomination for themselves. >> erin, we have the two ricks who met in texas on tuesday, rick santorum and rick perry. santorum also met this week with a group of conservatives in
virginia to try to plot his path forward. what is rick santorum's strategy right now? >> i just spoke to the campaign about this. they say many of these meetings are about getting conservatives to coalesce behind rick santorum so that he can stop mitt romney. now, as far as that meeting with rick perry, what that was about is that there is an effort under way to get texas to become a winner-take-all state in terms of the delegates going forward into the republican primary. and the santorum campaign is looking ahead to texas thinking that if they can deny mitt romney all of those delegates in texas, as it is a huge state, maybe they can get a step forward to the convention. so they're telling me that $3.2 million have voted for rick santorum so far. and they're not calling for him to get out of the race just yet. they say it's full speed ahead on tuesday. >> erin, what about this new ad that mitt romney's campaign rolled out focused squarely on the president? let's take a look at this. >> america deserves solutions,
not attack ads covering up obama's failures. four years of failed leadership are all we can afford. >> what do you think mitt romney's strategy is going to be against president obama if he is the gop nominee? >> the line that we've heard from mitt romney that seems to work for him is that the president is a nice guy but he's in over his head. they're going to keep saying the recovery has not been fast enough, not deep enough. that's one of the only things that will work against the president, they seem to think. it's what pollsters are telling us is the message that works in focus groups of voters right now. so just what you heard in that ad is what the strategy is. >> anne, we have the obama camp which didn't waste any time at all releasing an attack ad targeting mitt romney. here's part of that. >> if we become one of those societies that attacks success, one outcome is certain, there will be a lot less success. >> in this country, broad-based
prosperity has never trickled down from the success of a wealthy field. it has always come from the success of a strong and growing middle class. >> anne, the president seems to be shifting really into campaign mode these past couple of weeks. from what you've seen so far, what type of a campaign are we going to see the president wage leading up to november? >> i think you picked two good ads to play to embody at least where the campaign is right now. obviously we can't overstate that this campaign is going to change going forward. there will be different iterations of this once romney gets the nomination and so forth. but i think you're absolutely right. we're seeing a middle class populist message coming out of this white house. we have for some time now but it's now in a more overt, political way. start counting the times you hear "middle class" and also aimed at women, which we saw the president do yesterday as he talked about the jobs numbers. >> i want to go over the jobs numbers with both of you. despite the 120,000 jobs lost
and the downward tick to -- i said lost. i meant added. they expected 200,000 jobs. how is the white house reacting to the latest numbers? most say it's a mixed bag. >> they are reacting, i would say, with cautious optimism. as they tend to do with all of these reports. yesterday president obama did not mention the less rosy aspects of the report and he tends not to. instead he talked about the good things in it. and he also said that there are ups and downs. and i think the white house wants to look at the big picture, the broader picture, which is that the trajectory has been that the job count is going up over time, not looking at any one jobs report as a snapshot. >> and really quick, erin, your thoughts on this? it doesn't surprise anyone the president wouldn't focus on the fact that they only added 120,000 jobs instead of 200,000? >> i want to point you to what
the republicans were saying about these numbers yesterday. they had a united front that said, under the president, unemployment for women has gone from 7% to 8.1%. republicans were trying to target the numbers to women. >> interesting. thank you so much, erin mcpike, anne kornblut, appreciate that. for the latest political developments, check out, first read, logon to firstread.msnbc.com. the artist called the painter of light has died. thomas kinkaid's works are believed to be on display in as many as 10 million american homes. he was a christian and said that he liked to make people happy with his paintings. the 54-year-old kinkaid died of apparent natural causes at his home in california. i will be talking with a writer from the "new yorker" about his life and works. three days away from the grand jury convening in the
trayvon martin case. just ahead, breaking down the legal aspects of the case. the new jobs report. we'll go inside the numbers. jared burnstein will give us his take on where the economy is headed. mine was earned off vietnam in 1968. over the south pacific in 1943. i got mine in iraq, 2003. usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection, and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans and their families is without equal. begin your legacy, get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve.
"newsweek" they believe the shooting was racially motivated. 35% of whites agree with that. for more on this case, i want to bring in karen russell and b.j. bernstein, an attorney and former assistant district attorney in gwinnett county, georgia. thank you for joining me, ladies. karen, i'm going to begin with you. we are seeing a growing number of polls showing this divide between how african-americans and whites view this shooting. does that ever manifest itself in a courtroom? >> i'm not sure that it's going to manifest itself in the courtroom. i think what people want is more thorough of an investigation. i think they want to know what happened that night and while zimmerman is free, we won't have those facts. >> how worried are you that we're ever going to have those facts, karen, because given the reports about potential bungling by the sanford police department and not putting into evidence things that ought to have been put there, will we get the
answers that everybody is looking for? >> it's discouraging. but i think the forensics can help with the crime scene and looking at the tapes about what it was that he said, was it a slur or not? looking at the evidence, was there a struggle? there's sandy soil in florida. the issue is going to be, is zimmerman's story credible, and do the forensics and the crime scene support his story? >> so, b.j., a few minutes ago, we played tape of george zimmerman's attorney who said he's worried the court of public opinion could influence the investigation. what do you think of that? >> well, if it weren't for the public push, this wouldn't even be looked at. and you always have to be careful with the jury pool if that happens to make sure you have a fair and impartial jury. but our greatest injustices which may be the case here where
police can't adequately invest, that didn't happen. if there hadn't been the uproar in the african-american community, this wouldn't have been looked at. that's the reference these polls are showing, about how many african-americans know, how many times do we hear on the news, an unarmed person who's african-american is shot. young people in my office getting arrested or pulled over because they're black driving a nice car. >> karen, this week an apparent eyewitness told cnn that she is positive that the cry for help came from trayvon martin. i should say that i interviewed a man who did a voice analysis last week and he said he is absolutely positive that the voice on that tape was not that of george zimmerman. he can't since he wasn't there that it was for sure trayvon martin. but he says, it's not george zimmerman.
here is what zimmerman's father said this week. >> when i first heard -- first i heard the martin family say that that was their son. and i thought, well, they're a grieving family and maybe the tapes were not too good. but then when i heard the actual recording, me, my family, friends, everybody knows, absolutely, that's george. >> of course, that is robert, who's george's father. what do you make of this discrepancy and how does this play out, most importantly, in a courtroom? >> well, in the courtroom, they're going to have experts from both sides saying -- supporting their position. i think early on, people are going to hear what they want to he hear. and whether it's trayvon or george on the tape, was this a slur or was this not a slur? and i think that's why you want the experts -- i think people don't want george zimmerman
convicted in the media. i think they want to know what is the evidence? is his story credible? was he the one who was screaming or was it trayvon? was he on top or was trayvon on top? i think with a thorough investigation, people will be able to overcome maybe their initial bias and see fairly what happened. >> okay. b.j., this week, special prosecutor angela corey said, quote, i always lean towards moving forward without needing the grand jury in a case like this. do you think we're going to see a decision from her soon and in your analysis, what might that be? >> i would hope that she would make the decision at this point or law enforcement. what i get worried about with the grand jury is because that's in secret. and if a grand jury were presented the evidence and submitted a "no bill" in this case, there would be even more of an uproar th. and what law enforcement does is always make an arrest if there's
probable cause. the facts that are coming out thus far appear to have probable cause. obviously i'm not reading the entire file and she is now. and i hope that she takes all that into account and remember, the standard here is probable cause. then start with each step and build a case. >> i'm going to let karen's affirmative nod there close this discussion. b.j. and karen, thank you so much. now, number five on our first five web stories, a dramatic boat race today in england. the race was stopped halfway through when that guy you see there jumped into the river thames and swam between the cruise. he was picked up and taken by police. the race was restarted about half an hour later. cambridge won after one of oxford's rowers broke an oar. i should be arrested for crimes against potted plant-kind. [ clang ] my house is where plants came to die.
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more americans are reading e-books. in a new pew research survey, 20% said of adults say they've read an e-book, up 17% from december. e-readers actually read more than people who read books in print. "forbes" magazines names grand rapids, michigan, as the best city in america for raising a family. reasons include a low cost of living and one of the nation's top school systems. boston gets top ranking in a new list of the country's most organized cities. the ratings looked at such factors as filing taxes on time and junk mail cancellations. thanks in part to "the hunger games," hollywood had its best month of march ever, earning $940 million. "the hunger games" earned a quarter of that as the month's biggest money-maker.
and topping billboard's country music chart, jake owens'" alone with you. coming up ahead, my conversation with media mogul tina brown, a friend of princess diana's. she tells me what she thinks people may not have known about the princess. [ male announcer ] once upon a time, in neckarsulm, a great roar was heard and things changed. children adjusted dreams. victories became habitual. thumbs grew new calluses. hollywood hopped on the bandwagon. air traveled in style. and for the first time ever, journalists ran out of adjectives. and so concludes chapter 1 of the legendary audi r8.
closer look at the march jobs report. that's not as rosy as the numbers might indicate. employers did add 120,000 new jobs last month. but that is below the 200,000 that analysts expected. the unemployment rate fell .1% but that was largely due to people just giving up on their job search. president obama said yesterday that ups and downs are expected and there is still work to do. joining me is jared bernstein. jared, good to have you here. thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure, alex.
>> walk us through this jobs report and tell us what the numbers tell you. >> as you suggested, we were expecting a better report. but a lot of times our expectations are like looking in the rearview mirror. the last few months on average have been delivering about 250,000 jobs per month. so folks thought that we'd be kind of in that ballpark. the fact that we weren't doesn't mean that we are on to a new, slower, less favorable trend because one month does not a trend make. in fact, one of the things i like to do is average out these monthly data because there's statistical noise in each month. if you look at the quarterly numbers, march gives us the data for the first quarter, we are adding an underlying trend of in the neighborhood of 200,000 a month, which, by the way, isn't great. it's good but it's not fast enough to bring the unemployment rate down as quickly as a lot of folks would like to see. but we're still moving in the right direction. >> okay. jared, you wrote on your blog that there are two possible scenarios going on here.
a monthly chart which shows private payrolls on a downward trend while another shows payrolls on the rise. can you interpret that? >> absolutely. if march was an unusual result based on month-to-month noise in the data, there are seasonal problems in the data, we think we added fewer jobs in the earlier month than some of the data are telling us and maybe that's reflected in the bad result for march, what you want to do sometimes is average out those monthly bips and bops. the way to do that is to look at the quarterly numbers. lots of data, like gdp, are quarterly. i think that's a reasonable way to look at things. if you look at that, then we're on a decent trend. if you believe this last month was the beginning of a new, less favorable trend that's possible. we won't know for another few months until we have more incoming information. >> does your gut tell you anything, though, jared? >> yes.
my gut tells me that the quarterly data are probably correct. i think the underlying trend is probably in the neighborhood of 200,000 a month, perhaps a little bit north of that. but let me put that in context. does that mean that month after month we're going to see continuous improvement in the unemployment rate, in paychecks, in job availability? the kind of thing that really matter to average folks that might not be parsing these statistics the way you and i are right now? i would say not necessarily. i think if we add 200,000 a month, something in that neighborhood, if we go with that quarterly kind of a chart, it's sort of std steady as she goes. things are getting better but not particularly quickly. >> can i ask you about the president having signed this bipartisan jobs act into law aimed at helping the start-up firms raise capital? and then some critics say, that's going too far. what are the risks associated with this? >> two things, first of all, since we're talking about jobs sh -- and this is called a jobs
act -- this kind of thing doesn't have much to do with the jobs in the short run. it's about making capital more available to venture start-up firms. if you're going to see jobs, it's going to be down the road. you're diminishing investor involvement. it could be risky going forward. we have to look at that. >> jared bernstein soshgs appreciative of your time. thank you so much. >> my pleasure, alex. we've been asking all of you this day, what is your sense of the economy where you live? here are some of your tweets on that. we have one who says, virginia's always been a great state for employment. our employment rate usually hovers around 6%. another writes, doing better than most, we have jobs and construction, gas prices hurt, though. another says, based on how many
people i know who are unemployed, it better change or we're sunk. another says, i just changed jobs in indiana and found it pretty easy to get offers. another tweet says, in southwest florida, the cost of living is very high, food, gas, all commodities, value of property homes, pay scale, very low. one more time, i think things are getting better in cali. keep talking to me. i'll be reading some of your tweets a little bit later on. another big endorsement is in the works for mitt romney. rudy giuliani is creeping closer to publicly throwing his support behind the former massachusetts governor. giuliani, the former new york city mayor, ran for president himself back in 2008. let's go to "strategy talk" where it's game on for president obama and mitt romney. romney hasn't locked in the nomination just yet but it's not
stopped him from taking his focus off the gop field and placing it squarely on the president. joining me now, republican strategist, chip saltsman and ted strickland. good to see you, gentlemen. this primary season has seen mitt romney pushing further and further to the right. as with any election, he has to come back to the middle for the general. how difficult will that be given the primary nature of this primary season? >> it's taken its toll but the good news for governor romney is he gets back to his comfort zone which is talking about jobs and the economy in things he did as governor of massachusetts and in the private sector as well. that's the number one issue out there as you can tell from your tweets and earlier conversations from today. >> governor strickland, we were just discussing this disappointing march jobs report. i'm curious, is there a risk of the economy becoming an achilles heel for president obama?
>> well, i think the economy is improving. we hope it continues to improve. and we remind people that when barack obama became president, the month he became president, we had lost about 750,000 jobs. he's reversed that trend. we've had 26 months of job growth. it's slow, but it's steady and we're going in the right direction. the last thing we need to do is to go back to the same old policy that is led to this recession and this job loss. we're on the right track now. i think the president is leading us in the right direction and i'm very hopeful that ohio's economy and the nation's economy will continue to improve. >> okay. chip, is there something of a razor's edge on which mitt romney's got to dance when numbers like these come out? he wants to hammer down the party line that the white house has not fixed the economy but then he doesn't want to look like he's happy about it either. >> yeah, there's no question.
what he's going to do is we all want the economy to do better. that's not a republican or democrat issue. that's an american issue. the challenge for governor romney is to talk about the part of the economy that's not doing well, like the energy prices. gas was under $2 a gallon when barack obama was inaugurated. now it's almost $4. is he going to take credit for that? somehow i don't think so. the challenge is how do we get energy price down. talk about how his path to jobs and a better economy is. that's his challenge over the next couple of months. >> governor strickland, i want to ask you, what does this tell you about how swing states are going to vote, several of which have some pretty high unemployment rates? >> you know, ohio's the ultimate swing state. we're proud of that fact. we're a very diverse state. 2340 party, no candidate can take ohio for granted. but right now, the president has a fairly healthy lead over mitt romney in the polls in ohio and in many of the other swing.
i think that's because that people recognize that this president has given us really strong, steady, consistent leadership. he's not a flip-flopper. when you talk about mitt romney being able to pivot to the issues that he really cares about, that just reinforces the fact that he is the ultimate flip-flopper. we don't know what mitt romney really believes, based on what he's said and what he has done. but we know that president obama is strong and steady and focused. and i think ohio and many of the other states in the midwest will support him in november. >> okay. chip, let me ask you real quick, the conservative blogs all went after president obama this week after the nsa met with the muslim brotherhood. once we get into the heart of the general election, are there going to be foreign policy debates, defense debates? what are the credentials there for mitt romney? >> absolutely. a lot of the credentials have to do with what president obama has done in his years in office.
a lot of people think he's been weak on foreign policy and make america weak as far as how it looks to the entire world. the challenge for governor romney is what he believes he should be doing in most of these -- >> chip, isn't it a little bit of a hard sell? >> the number one issue is going to be jobs and the economy. foreign policy, everyone wants to talk about who has foreign policy experience. but most people don't vote on that issue. but we have two wars going on, a lot of issues out there people care about. governor romney's talked about that a lot during this primary season. i think he's going to contrast with what the president's done. >> gentlemen, thank you so much. do you want to -- >> alex, osama bin laden is dead and general motors is alive. that says a lot about the president's foreign policy and his domestic policy. >> that's going to be a wrap, guys. thank you so much. we have two big national security stories developing this week. new york city police and the fbi are investing an online threat involving al qaeda. it is this image here. it's been posted on a radical
overseas website that reads "al qaeda coming soon again in new york." and there is a report of al qaeda websites being shut down by hackers. joining me from minneapolis is former cia officer and criminal defense attorney, jack rice. jack, welcome. let's talk about this image of the new york city skyline and this al qaeda message. this may have triggered some sort of security concerns. but it was done by a student in egypt? >> yeah, it's pretty wild. i think obviously there's a lot of concern for anything that comes out and where it comes out and from whom it comes out. apparently what we have here is really just an amateur kid who was working on some photoshop work. what's amazing about this to me is if you look at what's really going on on this issue, is it really highlights how this is a pop culture question? with al qaeda being around for so long, with so many people really at this age who have
lived with this their entire lives, it simply becomes a backdrop for them. was this a real threat? it doesn't appear to be. but it highlights the point that people need to continue to be vigilant just in case. >> the national security agencies have to look at these things. but sometimes they can be dismissed as being harmless. you're confident that's the case here? >> i think it really is. if you look at where it came from, typically when you're looking at threats like this or claims that are being made, it's not just somebody standing up in the street saying, i'm going to do something. it has to be somebody who has a history of this typically or has the capability. if what we have is a student who is doing something that wasn't, i don't believe, intent on this and not capable of it, then at the end of the day, what is it really? >> a couple of prominent al qaeda websites have been hacked. we're not able to even see them online right now. what's happened there? >> i think this is a very interesting aspect of what's going on. this is something i think the media typically misses and
usually a lot of people don't want to talk about it anyway. the idea of what a cyber attack is. we have seen this within this country. the iranians have seen a cyber attack of their own that may have come from the israelis. in a case like this, these cyber attacks can go any direction. it's very unclear what it is that was actually done and by whom. i don't want to get too far into the specifics of it but i think what's really important is just like the united states over the last 15 to 20 years has worked very, very hard to defend themselves from these, you also have to know how to do these very, very aggressively and very, very well. so could this have been an american effort? it might have been. could it have been an israeli or a french or british german effort? sure. chinese? well, i don't know yet. >> i bet you'll find out, jack rice. thank you. now, number three on our first five web stories, football player tim tebow will be delivering a sermon on easter sunday at a texas church. up to 20,000 people are expected to show up at the georgetown
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visit a local office, or go to libertymutual.com today. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? want to take you to virginia beach. that's where u.s. navy admiral john harvey is addressing the issues there regarding that f/a-18 crash yesterday. let's take a listen to an update. >> it was very important for me to get out here today and get with not only mayor sesham but all the terrific professional first responders from virginia beach fire, police, the emergency medical technicians and be able to thank them for
the extraordinarily superb response they provided immediately after the accident and as the mayor said, nonstop for the last 24 hours in dealing with the aftermath of the accident. it was also very important for me to actually put eyes on the site, see what the citizens of virginia beach went through, what they lost and what they've sacrificed in this accident and to express, again, my thanks to the mayor for the extraordinary demonstration of courage that so many of the citizens of this apartment complex showed immediately after the accident. it was citizens that dragged our air crew to safety out of the fire zone. it was citizens that stepped up and helped move those hoses. it was citizens who evacuated the other inhabitants of the apartment complex and got that going and saved them from the fires that went through those buildings. it was a pretty amazing display in virginia beach of what citizenship really means. and it came from an awful lot of people who didn't have an awful
lot. so i stand in awe of the people here. i stand in awe of what mayor sessams has delivered in terms of the navy at a very difficult time for us. i'm very proud of this partnership. it will continue into the future. we'll learn from this and we'll make the future better for all of us. so thank you very much, mr. mayor. and more importantly, thanks to the people of virginia beach and the chief, the fire chief, the police chief and their troops who did so much to keep this amazing miracle going where no one died, that we know of so far, in this accident. thank you. any questions? >> sir, can you bring us up to date with the investigation, what you know, what may have triggered this crash? >> the investigation has just got under way. what we've done here is control the site. we're now going to start moving in, now that the city has gotten the whole site under complete control. we're going to come in, sort of
in a parallel activity, and work our way from the outside in, gathering all the parts, examining the parts. we will take all those parts and put them into hangar 23 over at nas oceania and lay them out and start doing a detailed examination of what we find, looking at all the tapes, listening to all the tapes. it's going to take weeks to put this all together. a lot of those parts are scattered around and we have to examine all of them. we'll have engine specialists come down, specialists for each part of the aircraft. then we'll go painstakingly through everything and come up with what happened. >> is the flight data recorder recovered yet? >> it has not yet been recovered. >> can you give us a little bit more detail about the pilots' experience, whether it was pilot error or -- >> the investigation will go through all that. what i can tell you, though, is we had a very experienced
instructor pilot who was in the backseat. we had a pilot who had gone through an extraordinarily long part of the syllabus flying in the front. i'm very, very confident in the skills and knowledge of our air crew. they hung with that aircraft till the last possible moment on ejecting, trying to recover the aircraft and get it to safety. but, again, i don't want to draw any conclusions on any aspect of this until we've completely examined all the information that we're going to need. >> admiral, you were fortunate to have the crew survive this incident. how instrumental will that be in facilitating the investigation? >> the investigation is going to go at a very steady pace. the fact that we have this air crew in good shape, clearly that's a critical part of this, to be able to sit down with them in the formal process. we'll get all the facts they have, reconstruct it in their minds and get it down as to what went on and what they can recall from it. pretty dramatic experience that they went through. but these are very, very
skilled, very professional officers, among the best we have. i'm very confident we'll get a very good detailed breakdown of what occurred. sadly, we've had some experience with this type of investigation. i have great confidence in admiral branch and his team at naval air forces atlantic and here at oceania, we have the exact right people we need to do exactly what we need to do. we'll do it in a very measured pace. we will not rush to judgment. we'll get everything down, find out exactly what happened and then we'll share that information with the mayor and all the other appropriate people when we have it ready to go. >> have you talked to the pilots yet? and was there anything in their actions that helped contribute to the fact that there were no victims in this case? >> i have not, myself, talked to the pilots. they didn't need any conversation with an admiral last night. they had -- the focus was on their medical care, their medical recovery. i think they've been released
now from the medical observation. so they're in pretty good shape. but there's a process you go through. and i'm not going to parachute into it and inject myself into the investigation. we have the right people doing it at the right time. and it's important to let that process play out so we don't miss anything or rush to judgment. but before this incident occurred, i am extraordinarily proud of our air crew who do this every day all around the world. they're very, very good at this. we'll find out what happened and fix whatever went wrong. >> that is u.s. navy admiral john harvey talking about the pride that he takes in the fact that this crew did the very best they could under pretty extraordinary circumstances. the investigation will continue. it will be a continuous process. they're going to get going on it right away. may take a while until they have the answers. he applauded the efforts of the citizens of virginia beach that came to the rescue of neighbors and the pilots of that downed
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it's time now for a couple of items that caught my eye this week. amazing video from texas showing one of the 14 tornadoes that hit the dallas/ft. worth area on tuesday. this tornado tore through a highway, just missing some of those cars. and the weather service says some of the winds reached speeds of 150 miles an hour on tuesday. look at that. can you imagine driving on those roads there? this is a 4-year-old boy in australia who had to be freed by firefighters after he got his arm stuck in a vending machine. firefighters had to dismantle the machine to free that boy. he was trying to grab a toy when he got stuck. ahead, my conversation with tina brown, a friend of princess diana's. she tells me what she thinks
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at the top of the hour, welcome, everyone, to "weekends with alex witt." it's 1:00 p.m. eastern on the east coast. 10:00 a.m. in the west. new developments as the navy is investigating why an f/a-18 crashed into an apartment complex in virginia beach. that f/a-18 developed a malfunction at some point after takeoff yesterday. it slammed right into those apartment ps. the pilots were able to e jaekt safely before the crash. thanh truong is covering that and asking the very first questions. we'll get to thanh later on this hour. now to the latest in the trayvon martin case. any day now, we could get word from the special prosecutor about whether george zimmerman will face arrest. we're getting new insight into americans' view of this case. a christian science monitor poll shows that 73% of blacks and hispanics feel race played a role in the shooting. just 36% of whites agree with that.
for the very latest in this case, let's go to nbc's kerry sanders in sanford, florida. you're getting news in to us. a good day to you, kerry. >> reporter: good afternoon. i'm waiting to see if there are going to be any developments. everybody is waiting to see whether the special prosecutor is going to reach a conclusion on her own with this investigation that's now 40-plus days or whether she's going to take what she's gathered and present to it a grand jury. she has those two options. if she takes it to a grand jury, the grand jury impanelled here in seminole county, florida, has its next scheduled meeting on tuesday. potentially she could take what she's gathered and present it to them. or as she's done before during her career, she could just make the decision on her own. the governor saying that she has never used a grand jury. so those are the two option that is she faces. meantime, there is obviously pressure from both sides. and among those talking about
the marches and the protests is one of george zimmerman, the gunman, one of his lawyers, that is craig sonner. this is what he had to say on the "today" show earlier this morning. >> that's a troubling thing because in the court of public opinion, it appears he's ready for sentencing. it's going to be a road road. that's why we're here today, to get people to stop and see the marches and so on and to stop skreeping f screaming for justice, let the justice system work, get all the information and then let's see what happened then. >> reporter: so angela corey is that special prosecutor. she's an elected state attorney in duvall county, selected by the governor to handle this. she comes from a community that's one-third african-american. she's elected to office. but all of that doesn't mean that she necessarily is going to be somebody who is under political pressure. but it may be that the logical
route here is to take it to the grand jury, let the grand jury return, because this all centers around a rather controversial law that's made national headlines. and that is this "stand your ground" law. alex? >> i'm glad you put your earpiece back in. i want to ask you this question. it seems to me from my observation, hundreds of miles away, that the majority of people clamoring for justice are asking just for an arrest. certainly you have voices that ask for everything. but it's just for the arrest. and that echoes the sentiments of trayvon martin's family. let the wheels of justice, once an arrest has happened. do you find dissenting voices from that? >> reporter: not really. what people are asking for is the process. they feel the process was circumvented from the very beginning because this was a seven-hour and 50-minute investigation from the time of a shooting to the time of a decision that he would not be
charged with a crime. i've spoken with veteran detectives in florida who have handled cases like this. and they're dumbfounded to think this would happen so quickly, if for no other reason than for the forensics. trayvon's -- the clothes that he was wearing would have gone to the forensics lab for gun powder. the autopsy report could suggest a conflict in the story that george zimmerman told. and yet george zimmerman told the story and within less than eight hours, the decision was made. so veteran detectives in florida are saying the same thing you're hearing from people who are out on the street, which is that they would like to see this process be fully engaged in the decision of whether there should be charges or not. so i think that's where everybody is effectively waiting for this to go. and the special prosecutor, angela corey, she has no timetable. she can take all the time she wants. as a matter of fact, taking months to investigate an alleged
crime or at least a shooting is routine. so the idea that just because the grand jury is meeting on tuesday, we're going to hear something this tuesday, i'm not so sure that that's necessarily the case. because it takes a grand jury a while to process the information. >> kerry sanders, many thanks. let's go to front-page politics. don't count him out. in the past 24 hours, the rick santorum camp existed the candidate has no plans of bowing out. the latest polls in pennsylvania show mitt romney closing in on santorum ahead of the april 24th primary. some polls show romney with a slight lead, in fact. meanwhile, nbc confirms former gop presidential candidate and texas governor rick perry met with rick santorum on tuesday in austin. santorum is the one who requested the meeting. perry dropped out of the race in january and endorsed newt gingrich. and the romney campaign has release add new video narrated by ann romney showing a more personal side of her husband. >> i hate to say it, but often i
had more than five sons. i had six sons and he would be as mischievous and as naughty as the other boys. >> joining me now, perry bacon, jr., and david catanise. if polling becomes clear that santorum is likely to lose pennsylvania, does he bow out before that or do you have the sense that he's going to let this ride? >> from what he's been doing, reaching out to all these conservatives, his campaign is emphatic he's running and talking about going to texas, i would be surprised if he dropped out. i don't rule it out only because the numbers suggest he might lose his home state, which is always embarrassing for a candidate. but he usually avoids following the conventional wisdom of politics. i'd be surprised if he dropped out. >> politically, how damaging would it be for santorum to lose his home state? will there be any gop backlash? he's been tearing down romney for so long now. >> well, it would be the end of the road emphatically for rick
santorum if he loses pennsylvania his own campaign says it's a must-win. but part of the problem is mitt romney's still having to spend money on a contest that most republicans think is over. his campaign put $1.8 million into the keystone state. this is money, time and resources that could be moved towards the general election. but instead he still has to deal with rick santorum. and i think that's what some republicans have a real problem with prolonging this contest into late april. and then if stoim is able to sneak out a win in his home state, that's probably a rationale for him to go on to the contest in texas and future contests in may. that's not what the republicans need right now. >> let's take a look at the president's ad and then mitt romney's. >> tax increase has not only become a necessity but also a desired tool for social justice. >> i've cut taxes for small
business owners 17 times over the last three years. >> obama's mud can't cover up his failed energy policy. it's hurting small businesses and working families. america deserves working solutions. >> are we getting a sense of romney's approach to the general election? >> yeah, this is sort of the first steps that are being laid out, even though he still has santorum to deal with. i do think it was interesting some of the messaging that the obama campaign wout put out this week on the ryan budget plan, that controversial blueprint that basically changes medicare. you saw the obama campaign linking romney to that. romney said that that was marvelous, i think that's going to be a big portion of the obama campaign's strategy going forward and inextricably linking him to that plan. >> perry, we saw the president ratcheting up his general election campaign on a number of front this is week. but beyond the ad we just played, what exactly has he ruled out?
>> they did a big focus this week about romney's taxes. they tweeted it out on the president's own twitter account, the notion that romney's not disclosing what his assets are. david mentioned the speech about the paul ryan budget plan. there's been a bunch of web ads criticizing romney and the president talk about how he's a pro-business person as well. the romney campaign has written it off saying the election is starting now. they opened up on a bunch of front this is week, particularly on the disclosures of romney's finances and they showed you where they're headed for this campaign. >> okay. perry and david, good to see you. thanks for joining us on a holiday weekend. for the latest political developments, be sure to check out first read. it is updated daily. check it out often. one of the most popular artists in the world has died. thomas kinkaid, who was known as the painter of light, died at his home in california at the
age of 54. his works are said to hang in 10 million homes here in the u.s. joining me from los angeles is susan orlean. you wrote on article titled "art for everybody." why was he so popular? >> i think he evoked a landscape that was very gentle, very fantastical, really. it was sort of the idealized small town, the bridge and the meadow leading to a charming cottage. and the timing of it was uncanny. he began making art at a time when contemporary art was becoming more and more alienating to a lot of people. he also was a genius businessman. and i think that that was an essential element of how he ended up being in so many
american homes. >> you know, talk about that, because as i read the article that you wrote, you point out the very unique way in which he would sell his paintings or those that had galleries would do it. they would put you in the room and then they would start darkening the light so that that luminous effect -- as you look in the windows, they're always lit up. and that made it look even magical or something, right? >> right. and there are people who actually questioned whether he was using fluorescent paint to create that effect. but whatever it is, it made the pictures look really rather luminous. and so they had this feeling that was very enchanted. and people were really drawn to them. they're very simplistic in the sense of presenting just a very happy landscape and one that was kind of magical. >> yeah. susan, can i ask, though, when you have someone who has painted
like this and you're saying simplistic and certain words, with regard to the art critic assessment of his work, was he well-respected? >> no. in a word, no. and i think he was seen as -- i don't think anybody doubted that he was a very good draftsman. he could paint a cottage to look really like a cottage. but nobody -- no serious art critics took him seriously as an artist. and what made the story interesting for me to do was to talk to him about how he felt about that. he was very aware of it. he didn't care at all. and we actually made a bet that he took seriously. he'd bet me $1 million that he would be vindicated and that there would be a show of his work in a major museum in his lifetime. so we had this standing bet. and i said to him, whatever
success you may have, i don't believe you're going to have a show at the metropolitan museum of art or the los angeles county museum of art and be taken as a serious artist. and he simply disagreed. >> well, extraordinary. and of course that bet has fallen by the wayside. nonetheless, susan, very interesting speaking with you. thank you so much. >> thank you. we're following developing news right now. the navy has just given an update on that f/a-18 fighter jet crash in virginia beach. officials are praising the residents with tales of heroism. we're live at the scene next here on "weekends with alex witt." [ male announcer ] if you think tylenol
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a navy spokesman gave an update about 20 minutes or so ago. we'll go live to virginia beach and nbc's thanh truong. let's get the latest from the scene there. you were right out of the gate with those questions. they went to you first and we're proud of you. >> reporter: thanks, alex. we've been very curious as to what led to the crash, what led to that f/a-18 crashing into the apartment complex here. what we know is what the navy labels as a catastrophic mechanical failure. they won't say at this point because it's gonk only going to be speculation what kind of pilot error was involved if any at this point. they say right now one of the main important things they're trying to do is to gather all the debris pieces from the f/a-18 hornet. most importantly, they say at the top of that list is gathering the flight data recorder. it's not exactly like a commercial airplane where it's a black box. they say that flight data record ser going to be very crucial to the investigation. it will give details to the final moments leading up to the crash when the f/a-18 was actually still in air.
keep in mind, that f/a-18 was only in the air for a few seconds before it crashed into the apartment complex. six people in total, including the two pilots who did safely eje eject, went to the hospital, were treated and released. at this point, they say it's very much a miracle, this being easter weekend, a lot of people saying it's divine intervention. one of the navy admirals actually said it was due to the citizens and their quick action. >> the extraordinary demonstration of courage that so many of the citizens of this apartment complex showed immediately after the accident. it was citizens that dragged our air crew to safety out of the fire zone. it was citizens that stepped up and helped move those hoses. it was citizens who evacuated the other inhabitants of the apartment complex and got that going and saved them from the fires. >> reporter: and that wreckage is going to remain at the crash zone for quite some time.
they're still trying to gather those vital pieces of the f/a-18. interestingly enough, we were at a neighbor's house, in a neighbor's apartment, we were about 100 yards away, maybe even less from the wreckage. he said it actually crashed on his birthday. he said it was a hell of a way to remember his birthday. alex? >> i should say. thank you for that, thanh truong. ahead in office politics, i talk to tina brown. she's going to tell me how she would advice president obama on his reelection message. [ cell phon e rings ] [ cell [ female announcer ] with secret outlast, conquer your busy day. ♪ burn! let's do it! hello, jenny! ♪ thank you. [ cellphone rings ] working on it. ♪
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i'm not going to cheat on my wife. i'm a father. >> yeah. that's perfect. shicks love a father figure. keep playing that card, dude. >> senior editor for "in touch weekly" kim serafin is here to tell us what to see and what to avoid this weekend. let's talk about the critics giving "american reunion" mixed reviews. what about you? what's your take? >> you know, i wanted to say this was a must see. but i have to say it's a must avoid. a lot of critics compared to it a real high school reunion where the hopes are really high. you think it's going to be great. but it never quite lives up to its expectations. now, if you are a fan of jokes about stiffler's mom, you might like this. if you're a teenager and this is the first r-rated flick you saw, you probably want to see it. but if you don't really understand those jokes, you won't like this movie. >> got it.
let's go to the 1997 blockbuster "titanic" that's back in theaters in 3-d. what do you think? must see or must avoid? and what did you think of the original? >> that was the first movie that started that trend. now with "twilight" and "the hunger games," people go see those movies a million times. but this was the first movie that drove people to the theater over and over again. this is definitely a must see. and james cameron did this meticulously converting it to 3-d. he did this so well. go see this to see it on a big screen. this is such an amazing movie. a great disaster movie, a great love story. it appeal so many people and really timed with the 100th anniversary of the "titanic." and go see leo and kate before they were huge stars. that's really worth it just to see them in their early beginnings. >> true.
finally let's talk about the limited release film "comic con, episode 4, a fan's hope." what is the verdict tl there? >> this is a documentary. you would think it would be a snarky film. and if you know anything about comic con, a lot of adults dress up like comic book characters. but it's actually kind of a valentine to comic con. it's a nice film, focuses on a lot of people that go to this festival, including a fan boy who wants to propose to his girlfriend with a lord of the rings inspired ring. it has a really nice feel to it. if you know anything about comic con, you would definitely like this film. it's a really well-made film. go see it if you like being entertained. >> we always do. kim, thanks so much. >> thank you. you probably don't know it, but today, you can act like a child and get away with it since this is international pillow fight day.
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it has a very nice spice note. [ jim koch ] it has a little lemon zest and a historic brewing spice called grains of paradise. it's citrusy. -lemony. -flavorful. -refreshing. -wow. [ man ] sam adams summer ale, there's just something about it. it's like, totally reminds you of summer, you know? now to the trayvon martin shooting. a series of new polls shows americans are deeply divided over how they view the case. and that division falls along racial lines. the latest example comes from "newsweek," 80% of blacks say they believe the shooting was racially motivated. alexis joins us now. are you surprised by these numbers? >> i'm not really surprised by these numbers. there were similar numbers around the time of the o.j.
simpson trial 17 years ago. >> let's go on a related note here, 16% of african-americans say this case has gotten too much media overage. 43% of whites say it's gotten too much media attention. i guess media bias is in the eye of the beholder. >> absolutely. when african-americans see trayvon martin, they see someone who could be their son, their nephew, their cousin. there are so many near misses that for black people covering this case and following every nuance is much more important. >> what about the divide along political lines? we have the christian science monitor poll showing that 64% of democrats believe that race played a role in the shooting. 32% of republicans believe the same way. was it inevitable that this story would become political in some way? >> i think it was inevitable. and it definitely was something that happened when george zimmerman's father, robert zimmerman, specifically brought up the naacp, he brought up president obama when he gave his
only interview to a local fox news affiliate in florida. he basically made race an issue and made race an issue for the right when he politicized it by bringing up black leaders and black groups fueling this when in fact, they've never brought up race or accused anyone of being racist. and the media have taken up robert zimmerman's call to use this as political fodder. >> i like to remind people that trayvon's family has merely asked for an arrest in this case and to allow the wheels of justice to then move forward. there are some, myself included, you that wonder how they're able to restrain themselves. something happening to your child like that, you don't want to think about what you'd want to do. but let's talk about the one thing that seems to bring people together is an agreement that america is divided by race if you look at these numbers here. 89% of african-americans say that's the way it is. 72% of whites say that's the way it is.
the polling we've been talking about, that seems to back it up. >> that's definitely true, i think that ironically geraldo rivera who's been attacked for some of his previous comments made a very interesting observation about this case on the fox news latino site. he said this is showing a real divide along class lines and age lines. america is changing. right now, we have more people than ever before who are people of color, people who are younger and more likely to see this as minori minorities that george zimmerman hasn't been arrested as a grave injustice. older americans see george zimmerman as someone who's being used as a punt for the agenda of the left. that's what we're seeing. but an evolution is taking place in america's politics. >> alexis stodghill, thank you so much. let's go to politics now. another big name endorsement for mitt romney appears to be in the works. romney's new york campaign director is telling "the
washington post," former romney rival, rudy giuliani, is close to publicly endorsing the former massachusetts governor. giuliani, the former new york city mayor, himself ran for president back in 2008. in this week's office politics, my conversation with tina brown, editor in chief of "the daily beast" and "newsweek." she talks politics in the uk versus the u.s. we begin with what she calls the polypartisanship of her publications. >> a cover story was written in january where it says, why obama's critics are so dumb. that's when obama was being crashed by pretty much everybody. he carefully listed the achievements that obama has had on his watch and laid them out in a persuasive way. it really reframed the way people were thinking about obama during those three months of this year. so it's very important, i think,
for a magazine, especially in this time when magazines have a much different role in our media, to take a counterintuitive point of view and say, okay, this is all the things that have been said, we're going to bring around a wholly different attack. >> if you were able to counsel president obama on his message, what would be the one that you would want him to carry? >> i think he has to focus on the economy and jobs. that is the only thing really that's mattering to people but also a sense that he has to keep hammering the fact that the republicans are a party that is both heartless and divisive when it comes to protecting the affluent. there's no other place for him to go at this point. that is probably the only thing he can really go on, in a sense, because he can't really boast much economic success. he can, of course, boast
tremendous success with national security. but the basic message has to be that people are going to be penalized tremendously if the republicans get in and the ryan budget gets passed. >> the difference between our politics and that of your home country, when you look at what happens in parliament, it's something that is on display for all to see. the dukes are up. they fight it out there. and then they come out with some sort of a resolution. >> well, the major defense between british and american politics is the money factor. we don't have laws that allow us in england to spend all this money and, frankly, fix the process. the election cycle is very short. it's not longer than six to eight weeks, really. and you're not allowed to drown the political process in money. so that makes an enormous difference to what you can say and what you can't say. and then the house of commons debating system is an extremely healthy one.
it is true that politicians are on show arguing their point. the prime minister has to xw taxed and questions. it doesn't happen here. i think it's very healthy to do that. >> it brings to mind your best-selling book, you've also authored books, you did that one on diana. you had a friendship with this iconic woman. what do we not know about her, despite all of the discussion and speculation about her, there are things you feel you gleaned about her that were authentic? >> when you hear she was lonely, it was the intensity of that loneliness that was so profoundly sad to me. when i met diana in 1997, the year she died, that was the whole theme of her conversation really was how she said to me, august is coming up, and my boys
go to stay with their father. and she said, i'm all alone. and i said, i'm sure you have many friends. and she said, not really because i can't inflict the press on my friends. she felt she was completely isolated. >> more from tina brown tomorrow. she'll give us a look at some startling poll results in the trayvon martin case and she shared one thing that she does not succeed in. you want to wait for that. americans appear to be looking harder for deals. a new survey from dupont shows that coupon usage for groceries and toiletries was up 43% in 2011. is it a sign that americans are more sensitive to price than ever? joining us with a closer look is regina lewis.
coupons used to be things that you clipped out of the newspaper. that's certainly changed. how would you define them now? >> increasingly they're more digital. but they are still anything that brings the net price of an item down. when i say price, largely i'm talking sales price. these days, people expect things to be on sale, at least 30% off. but they're also wise enough to know, i can just increase the additional price of an item, call it 30% off and there's no net savings. consumers have taking this on themselves. if that means clicking around or subscribing to newsletters to get codes, they're doing it. "the wall street journal" did an interesting analysis saying if you spent an hour of your time, whether it's clipping or clicking, you'll save $100. so let's say it's ten minutes. if the face value of an average coupon is $1.44, that's $14.40 every ten minutes. sit worth it? americans are resoundingly answering, yes. >> how are retailers responding to that? >> they're doing different things. they're having shorter
expiration dates. for retailers, it's all about precision. i want to give you the coupon you need to buy, get that price to a point where you'll bite but no lower because after that i'm eating into my margins. lower face values, $1.44 is the current arch average. you might see that go down. when you go to the grocery store, they don't give you a coupon for the orange juice you just bought, they give you a coupon for the competitor's orange juice. and gas incentives. people have a visceral reaction to gas prices. it's interesting to see grocery stores partnering with gas companies saying, if i give you $5 off, you might be thrilled. but if i give you 25 cents off per gallon, you're euphoric. it has a different reaction that seems to be very effective with consumers. >> bargain hunters do this thing called stacking. what is that? >> this is genius. there's a difference between
manufacturer coupes and the coupons in the grocery store, meaning the actual name of the grocery store. the general mills, the kelloggs of the world may issue you a coupon. if i'm a real bargain bee, i'm going to use that. then i go to the grocery store i normally shop at where i have a loyalty card, i'll hand that over. that's worth whatever it's worth. when i hand over my payment, more often i'm using a cash back rewards card. so that's a triple score. i've used a manufacturer coupon, a loyalty card and i've earned cash back on the purchase. >> thank you so much, regina lewis. next up, the big three, what do the little rascals have to do with the big controversy this week? the answer ahead. last season was the gulf's best tourism season in years.
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that's a nice view right there of central park. thank you for that, jason. time now for the big three. masters edition, today's topics, teeing off, still in the game and heman woman haters club. time to bring in susan del percio, anne kornblut and crystal ball. hello, girls. >> hi, alex. >> mitt romney and president obama there stepping up the attacks against each other with both camps releasing new attack ads. are we getting a sense of how this battle is going to play out in the general election if mitt romney is the gop nominee? >> if he is the nominee, we'll
start to see what we've been seeing now. we've seen the groundwork laid for several months now. mitt romney isn't going after obama as a person. he's not tearing him down on the substance of his character. he's talking about him as a manager. his line has been, he's a perfectly nice guy. he's just not getting the job done. what we saw with yesterday's jobs numbers, even though the unemployment rate went down slightly, mitt romney seized on the fact that they did not meet expectations. president obama is talking about the middle class and he's struck a fairly populist tone making it more sharply political and more about mitt romney than vague republicans. it's now really all about romney. >> susan, the unemployment numbers dropped. 120,000 jobs created in march. this is how the "associated press" criticizes it -- mitt romney needs an ailing economy to fully exploit his image as a mr. fix-it who can restore the
nation's financial health as he turned around the 2002 winter olympics. first up, how do republicans not be seen as wanting the economy to stagnate? >> well, right now, we're not seeing a robust recovery. so it's not difficult to point out to the problems that exist now. again, we saw the number drop to 8.2%. but the fact is most americans do not feel that they're better employed than they were necessarily four years ago. and that they have to look forward to say, is my brother employed, is my uncle, my aunt, my grandmother, my son, my nephew? whatever it is, people don't feel a jobs turnaround happening yet. >> crystal, to the flip side, i want you to hear what the "associated press" says concerning president obama. quote, president barack obama needs job creation momentum to convince voter that is things are moving in the right direction even if millions of people remain unemployed. so, crystal, these latest job numbers did not meet the analysts' expectations. they fell short by at least 80,000 or so. if that continues, what kind of
hurdle could that pose to the president in a reelection bid? >> there's no question the economy is the major factor for this election. and susan's right, if people don't feel like we are moving in the right direction -- they don't have to feel like we're totally there. but if they don't feel like we're heading in the right direction, that's a ballgame barrier for the president. on the other hand, mitt romney doesn't just win the presidency by default. he has to offer up an alternative. and so far i would say he's failed to offer up a platform or a compelling narrative of his own personal profile that will resonate with americans. he's struggled through, am i going to run as the governor of massachusetts? they were 47th in job creation. am i going to run as the bain capital guy? well, you were shipping jobs overseas and laying off american workers. he hasn't figure that had out. as long as he hasn't, democrats are defining him by paul ryan's budget plan and tying him generally to republicans and republican extreme plans that the american people aren't too keen on. >> next topic, girls, let's go
with you, susan, moving on to the race. in just the past 24 hours, rick santorum has insisted yet again he is not bowing out. but if he loses the pennsylvania primary on april 24th, that is his home state, it would be a devastating blow to his campaign. how tough a decision do you think this is for him right now whether or not to stay in the race? >> it's an extremely difficult decision because it's an emotional time. any candidate who's running whether it's for city council or president of the united states gets completely wrapped up in this. and rick santorum has had a great story. he came from nowhere. but the danger he now faces is going from having a great story taking on the establishment, beating expectations, to now having a bad ending which would be losing pennsylvania. so i do believe he will get out before that primary, especially as we see the polls going more and more in mitt romney's favor. but i think we'll also all of a sudden hear about it. it's not going to be days and weeks and things leaking out. it will just be one announcement. >> crystal, we have some polls
that show mitt romney's ahead in pennsylvania right now, in fact. if santorum loses the primary there, do you see him taking it all the way to the convention like newt gingrich has pledged to do? it's so hard to predict because neither he nor newt gingrich has run a rational campaign that you can really predict where it's going. i would say already you're hearing the calls for him to get out becoming increasingly loud. if he loses his home state of pennsylvania, it's really hard to see how there's any sort of a credible path. already it's hard to see that there's any sort of a credible path for him. >> yeah, the state where he lost the senate race six years ago by 18 points. anne, nbc news has confirmed that rick santorum met with rick perry in austin, texas, on tuesday. what do you make of that meeting? >> reportedly, they were talking about trying to consolidate tal about trying to consolidate conservative support around santorum. the bigger question is if it's
too late to have that happen. he's had a lot of time to become the definitive anti-rommy and succeeded with that without getting enough delegates behind him to make it clear he would win the nomination. it's not entirely out of the question he could do so, but obviously, pennsylvania will be the deciding factor. >> coming up in a moment with the big three. why the masters tournament reminds us of "little rascals." [ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation,
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and we don't want to go there. so let's try to see people for who they really are. you can help create a more united states. the more you know. now what do you say if we form a new club and call it the he man woman hater's club? >> that was a clip from the 1930s series series "little rascals." pledging not to allow the girls to join. that leads us into our final victory topic today. the controversy over augusta
national golf club's ban on women members. critics are saying this type of mentality operating at augusta national. it's 2012, they still ban women. do you think this will get the club to finally invite a woman to join? >> i think it's possible. here's why. i don't think they are going to be particularly susceptible to the values argument. frankly, this is a club that only let in their first african-american in 1990 and whose founder said that as long as he was alive, the golfers would be white and caddies black. i don't think values judgment will get it done. the business argument might. one of the reasons this is being brought up because one of augusta's imageer sponsors is ibm. guess what? they have a female ceo. shocking, i know. historically, the ceos of their major sponsors have gotten offered membership. obviously the female ceo of ibm can't. i think as business dynamics
change and women become more powerful consumer, as we are, this will be more and more difficult to maintain. >> devil's advocate because i'm a woman. it's a private organization. it doesn't get any money from the government and members pay a lot of money. why should it matter to the public whom they include or exclude? >> again, they don't care what the public thinks. first of all, people do not apply to augusta. they are invited to be a member. it's not even like there is that kind of process going on. they don't care what people think. what they may care about is being part of the pga tour. why more pressure isn't put on the pga to perhaps exclude them from the tour. that would be a whole different ballgame. >> that is a good point there. >> nick wants us to get to best and worst which means i'll begin with you. give me your thoughts on that. >> it's related. i was going to say it's a good
week for women. the golf course not with standing because both political parties are working to court them. women voters are having a good time. not such a great week for caterpillars. we had the head of the rnc comparing the war on women comment compared to a war on caterpillars. >> mitt romney did have a very good week. he came out of the primary very strong. rick santorum talked about him dropping out. i thought the president had the worst week after his attack on the supreme court. it made him look trite and too political at a time where he should be looking like a leader. >> i'm going to agree about the best week. mitt romney managed to win a primary and not step on it saying something idiotic. the big corporation lost kraft, coca-cola, major blow. >> that is a wrap. see you tomorrow at noon eastern. of today's athletes:
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